New 'activity hub' concept set to shake up Kingston parks

Green spaces around the Kingston borough are set to be transformed into 'destination parks' geared around different activities such as tennis, football and horticulture - making parks management cheaper and more efficient.

Football players. Image: MorgueFile
Football players. Image: MorgueFile

The London borough’s parks currently try to cater for a wide range of uses and interests. The council’s new Green Spaces Strategy proposes that different parks should be geared towards different uses.

Councillor David Glasspool, lead member for arts, leisure and heritage at Kingston Council, said: "The historic ‘one size fits all’ approach to managing parks is not only expensive, but ineffective, as it doesn’t give anyone dedicated facilities. We are trying to spread ourselves too thin and our parks and residents are suffering as a result.
"Destination parks will continue to provide the essence of an open space, serving every visitor but also giving people focal points for pursuits such as tennis, football and horticulture to name but a few.

"We are linking the Green Spaces Strategy with the council’s strategy in order to promote healthy and active lifestyles, building on growing evidence of the physical and mental health benefits of access to green spaces. 

"Almost every respondent to the recent All in One borough survey told us that parks and open spaces are important to them. It’s our duty to protect and enhance our green spaces, giving residents and visitors the best facilities possible.

"Our new Green Spaces Strategy encourages greater community and voluntary support - we, as a Council, can’t do this on our own, nor would we want to. Community engagement is at the very heart of this plan. We are committed to working with community-led initiatives and key partner organisations to make sure that we are developing our green spaces together."
Public consultations were carried out at two critical points during the shaping of the strategy, with residents initially feeding back about current management of parks and then, more recently, about the themes within the developed plan. 
The new Green Space Strategy will be considered by the Children, Youth and Leisure Committee this evening (9 June).

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